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‘The Punk Kings of Dyslexia’ with Stephen Micalef and Shanne Bradley
Wednesday 29th March, 7pm
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‘Sound System: The Political Power of Music’ with Dave Randall
Wednesday 5th April, 7pm
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‘Free Movement and Beyond: Agenda Setting for Brexit Britain’ with Kate Hudson
Wednesday 12th April, 7pm
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PLUTO PRESS TAKEOVER
‘The Political Thought of Abdullah Öcalan' with Dr Kamran Matin, Dilar Dirik, and Reimer Heider
Wednesday 19th April, 7pm
Read more...

PLUTO PRESS TAKEOVER
‘Voices from the “Jungle” - Stories From The Calais Refugee Camp’
Wednesday 26th April, 7pm
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‘Signal Failure: London to Birmingham, HS2 on foot’ with Tom Jeffreys
Thursday 4th May 7pm
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‘Surviving The Future: culture, carnival, and capital in the aftermath of the market economy’ with Shaun Chamberlin
Wednesday 12th May, 7pm
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IN-STORE EVENTS at HOUSMANS

We regularly have a variety of events in the shop, and are always welcome for suggestions from authors, artists and campaigners who want to use the shop for evening events. Past events include talks, book signings, film screenings, art exhibitions and musical performances.

Click here for an archive; which includes a number of selected filmed highlights, of our previous events. Also, you can view video from some special events here.

Click the following button if you would like to directly add our events to your smartphone or desktop calendar using Google Calendar.

 

BOOK EVENT
‘The Punk Kings of Dyslexia’
with Stephen Micalef and Shanne Bradley

Wednesday 29th March, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

An evening with infamous poet and punk-zine writer Stephen Micalef, who will be reading from his book The Punk Kings of Dyslexia, and talking all things Sniffin' Glue.

Stephen went under the moniker ‘Steve Mick’ when he wrote for Mark P’s legendary Punk fanzine, Sniffin’ Glue for ten months, up until May ’77. He was there practically at the inception of Punk and we glimpse through his writings, the times, the bands, the scene. It is a unique insight.

The poems in The Punk Kings of Dyslexia are written in his handwriting alongside a transcript of each and the book is a limited edition of 500, each copy being hand-numbered.

"40 years ago I was stapling our mag Sniffin’ Glue at the back of a new shop just opened by Geoff Travis in Kensington Park Road. In a wet walled curtained grotto behind the Rough Trade record shop counter I was collating the photocopied sheets when a bloke from The Times Education Supplement, Juri Gabriel, who’d just been to see The Damned, popped his head round the curtain & asked Mark Perry & me for an interview.

We went to cafe round the corner & I wrote a few words for him about what Punk meant to me : “you’ve gotta hate the past to create something new.” He suggested I try for Oxford, so I did. Punk utterly changed my life and these poems are a testament to my 10 months at the heart of Punk Rock, from August 1976 – May 1977.’" Stephen Micalef

Stephen will be joined by Shanne Bradley. Shanne is an artist as well as a musician and has a great Diary/Sketchbook she made in 1977 which she'll bring along to show. Shanne is one of the original 'She Punks' and founded 'The Nipple Erectors', putting Shane McGowan in the band and giving him his first break. She later founded 'The Men They Couldn't Hang' as well.

Here's a link to Gary Crowley's interview with Steve on Soho Radio.

PLUTO PRESS TAKEOVER
‘Sound System: The Political Power of Music’
with Dave Randall
Wednesday 5th April, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

Musicians have often wanted to change the world, and many—from underground grime artists to mainstream pop icons—channel that desire through the political power of music. Music has a unique ability to unsettle the most fundamental political and social conventions—or, alternatively, to stabilize the status-quo.
 
Sound System is the story of one musician’s journey to discover what exactly makes music so powerful. Years of touring, protesting, and performing have given Dave Randall an insider’s view of the music industry, enabling him to shed light on the most tightly held secrets of celebrity, commodification, and culture.

He finds remarkable examples of music as a force of social change as well as something that has been used to keep people in their place throughout history. From the Glastonbury Festival to the Arab Spring, Pop Idol to Trinidadian Carnival, Randall finds political inspiration across the musical spectrum.
 
A blistering, intelligent polemic about the political power of music, Sound System investigates the raves, riots, and revolution of contemporary culture to answer the question—how can we make music serve the interest of the many, rather than the few?

Published in the Left Book Club Series
http://www.leftbookclub.com

Reviews

"This engaging, hugely readable book…should be compulsory reading for anyone interested in the state of the world—and in the essential, life-affirming role music can play in changing it for the better." - Tom Robinson, BBC 6 Music

 "A thrilling trip through the dark corners and secret gardens of the music world! Randall leaves no stone unturned and has produced a work of rare insight." - Maxi Jazz, lead vocalist for Faithless

"Fascinating… A deeply intelligent look at music and society and in particular pop’s tempestuous relationship with commerce. Thought provoking, readable and clever stuff." – Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music

"What an imaginative idea, what a terrific, exciting book, weaving together the strands of music, politics and worldwide struggles." – Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

About the Author

Dave Randall is a musician and activist. He was the former guitarist in Faithless and has toured the world playing guitar with Dido, Sinead O’Connor and many others.

PUBLIC READING ROOMS PRESENTS
‘Free Movement and Beyond: Agenda Setting for Brexit Britain’
with Kate Hudson

Wednesday 12th April, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase


Free Movement and Beyond is an edited collection that draws together the current thinking of many of Britain’s most prominent ‘critical Remainers’ – those who argued to remain within the European Union while seeking its democratic and progressive transformation.

Seeking to contribute to the policy agenda for the Brexit process, the contributors centrally address the controversial issue of free movement of people, defending it as central to Britain’s economic success and as an advance for the working class across Europe; myths that blame migration for economic woes are debunked and the racism that such myths give rise to is condemned.

Contributors also outline policy proposals and principles in the areas of democracy, economics, trade policy, security policy, environmental legislation and workers’ rights.

Editor: Kate Hudson is a political activist, peace campaigner and academic, author of CND – Now More Than Ever: The Story of a Peace Movement; Breaking the South Slav Dream: The Rise and Fall of Yugoslavia; European Communism Since 1989; and The New European Left: a socialism for the twenty-first century?

Book contributors: Diane Abbott MP, Yanis Varoufakis / Caroline Lucas MP / Mary Kaldor / Marina Prentoulis / Andrew Burgin / Luke Cooper / Zoe Gardner / Laleh Khalili / Nick Dearden / Tom O’Leary / Neil Faulkner

PLUTO PRESS TAKEOVER
‘The Political Thought of Abdullah Öcalan -
Kurdistan, Women's Revolution And Democratic Confederalism’
with Dr Kamran Matin, Dilar Dirik, and Reimer Heider
Wednesday 19th April, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase


Abdullah Öcalan actively led the Kurdish liberation struggle as the head of the PKK from its foundation in 1978 until his abduction on February 15, 1999. Now, writing from isolation in Turkey’s Imrali Island Prison, he has shaped a new political movement in the Middle East called Democratic Confederalism, which is rapidly developing and spreading across the Middle East because it combats powerful religious sectarianism while also providing the blueprints for a burgeoning democratic society.

Bringing together Öcalan’s ideas in one slim volume for the first time, The Political Thought of Abdullah Öcalan contains a selection of his most influential writings over his lifetime. These ideas can be read in light of Öcalan’s continuing legacy during the ongoing revolution and the battle against conservatism and religious extremism. As the political situation in Syria intensifies, this book offers a timely and essential introduction for anyone wanting to come to grips with his political ideas on the Kurdish question, gender, Democratic Confederalism, and nationalism.

Speakers

Dr Kamran Matin is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at Sussex Centre for Migration Research, University of Sussex

Dilar Dirik is part of the Kurdish women's movement, a writer, and PhD student at the Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge

The event will be chaired by Reimer Heider from the Network for an Alternative Quest.

PLUTO PRESS TAKEOVER
‘Voices from the “Jungle” -
Stories From The Calais Refugee Camp’
Wednesday 26th April, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase


Often called the Calais Jungle, the refugee camp in Northern France epitomises for many the suffering, uncertainty, and violence that characterizes the lives of many refugees in Europe today. Migrants from ravaged countries, such as Syria, Sudan, Afghanistan, and Eritrea, arrive by the hundreds every day hoping for sanctuary from their war-torn homelands and a chance to settle in Europe. Going beyond superficial media reports, Voices from the “Jungle” gives voice to the unique individuals living in the camp—people who have made the difficult journey from devastated countries simply looking for peace.

In this moving collection of individual testimonies, Calais refugees speak directly in powerful and vivid stories, offering their memories up with stunning honesty. They tell of their childhood dreams and struggles for education; the genocides, wars, and persecution that drove them from home; the simultaneous terror and strength that filled their extraordinary journeys; the realities of living in the Calais refugee camp; and their deepest hopes for the future.

Through their stories, these refugees paint a picture of a different kind of Jungle—a powerful sense of community that has grown despite evictions and attacks and a solidarity that crosses national and religious boundaries. Interspersed with photos taken by the camp's inhabitants, taught by award-winning photographers Gideon Mendel and Crispin Hughes, original artwork by inhabitants, and powerful poems, Voices from the “Jungle” must be read by anyone seeking to understand the human consequences of our current world crisis.

Reviews

Julie Christie
"These first-hand accounts of the suffering endured by refugees fleeing unmitigated horror in their homelands paints a far more vivid picture than anything we read in the press or see on television. If you want to understand fully the extent of what refugees are being forced to endure under our very noses, please read this book."

JJ Bola
"Home is the first thing we experience as human beings in this world; somewhere we know, safe and warm, somewhere that keeps us. When we are forced out, we lose a little bit of ourselves; leaving us less whole. However, through these poems, these stories, we reclaim that home and the humanity that is lost with what comes with being labelled a refugee. Writing this is not only a way for the world to know us, but a way that we may know ourselves, once again."

‘Signal Failure: London to Birmingham, HS2 on foot’
with Tom Jeffreys
Thursday 4th May 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

A pyschogeographic tale of the failures of capitalism, of community, of the city and the suburbs, of architecture and agriculture, and, in the end, of our age-old failure to find our place in the world we live in...

One November morning, Tom Jeffreys set off from Euston Station with a gnarled old walking stick in his hand and an overloaded rucksack. His aim was to walk the 119 miles from London to Birmingham along the proposed route of HS2. Needless to say, he failed.

Over the course of ten days of walking, Jeffreys meets conservationists and museum directors, fiery farmers and suicidal retirees. From a rapidly changing London, through interminable suburbia, and out into the English countryside, Jeffreys goes wild camping in Perivale, flees murderous horses in Oxfordshire, and gets lost in a landfill site in Buckinghamshire.

Signal Failure weaves together poetry and politics, history, philosophy and personal observation to form an extended exploration of people and place, nature, society, and the future.

In part, Signal Failure is the story of the author’s multiple shortcomings – his inability to understand the city he lives in, to forge a meaningful relationship with his home-county hometown, to emulate those great nature writers he admires so much, to put up a tent or read a map.

About the author

Tom Jeffreys is a writer, editor and occasional curator with a particular interest in contemporary art that crosses over into the sciences or explores our relationship with the environment. His work has been published in, among others, Monocle, Apollo, Vice, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, New Scientist, Cricinfo, and World of Interiors. He is also online editor for the Institute of Art and Ideas and editor of The Learned Pig, an online magazine with four areas of interest: art, thinking, nature, writing.

‘Surviving The Future:
culture, carnival, and capital in the aftermath of the market economy’
with Shaun Chamberlin
Wednesday 12th May, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase


Shaun Chamberlin introduces the posthumous work of David Fleming, who explored practical ways of repairing and replacing the atrophied social structures on which most human cultures are built, so as to form the basis of a cohesive society that might survive the turbulent times to come.

Surviving the Future is a story drawn from the fertile ground of the late David Fleming’s extraordinary Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It. That hardback consists of four hundred and four interlinked dictionary entries, inviting readers to choose their own path through its radical vision.

Recognising that Lean Logic’s sheer size and unusual structure can be daunting, Fleming’s long-time collaborator Shaun Chamberlin has selected and edited one of these potential narratives to create Surviving the Future. The content, rare insights, and uniquely enjoyable writing style remain Fleming’s, but are presented here at a more accessible paperback-length and in conventional read-it-front-to-back format.

The subtitle—Culture, Carnival and Capital in the Aftermath of the Market Economy—hints at Fleming’s vision. He believed that the market economy will not survive its inherent flaws beyond the early decades of this century, and that its failure will bring great challenges, but he did not dwell on this: “We know what we need to do. We need to build the sequel, to draw on inspiration which has lain dormant, like the seed beneath the snow.”

Surviving the Future lays out a compelling and powerfully different new economics for a post-growth world.  One that relies not on taut competitiveness and eternally increasing productivity—“putting the grim into reality”—but on the play, humor, conversation, and reciprocal obligations of a rich culture. Building on a remarkable breadth of intellectual and cultural heritage—from Keynes to Kumar, Homer to Huxley, Mumford to MacIntyre, Scruton to Shiva, Shakespeare to Schumacher—Fleming describes a world in which, as he says, “there will be time for music.”

This is the world that many of us want to live in, yet we are told it is idealistic and unrealistic. With an evident mastery of both economic theory and historical precedent, Fleming shows that it is not only desirable, but actually the only system with a realistic claim to longevity. With friendliness, humour, and charm, Surviving the Future plucks this vision out of our daydreams and shows us how to make it real.

Reviews
“I would unreservedly go so far as to say that David Fleming was one of the most original, brilliant, urgently-needed, underrated, and ahead-of-his-time thinkers of the last 50 years. History will come to place him alongside Schumacher, Berry, Seymour, Cobbett, and those other brilliant souls who could not just imagine a more resilient world but who could paint a picture of it in such vivid colours. Step into the world of David Fleming; you'll be so glad you did.”--Rob Hopkins, cofounder of the Transition Network

About the author

Shaun Chamberlin has been involved with the Transition Network since its inception, cofounding Transition Town Kingston and authoring the movement’s second book, The Transition Timeline. He is managing director of the Fleming Policy Centre and former chair of the Ecological Land Co-operative, and has spoken at venues ranging from Occupy camps to parliaments. In exploring the cultural narratives charting society’s course he has written for or edited a diverse range of books, magazines, academic journals, and other publications, including co-authoring a significant UK All Party Parliamentary report with his close friend and regular collaborator David Fleming. His website is www.darkoptimism.org.


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